England :

dates will be given soon

Contact : Jamie Hamilton (info@shiatsupractice.com)

Japan :

dates will be given soon

Contact: Shigeru Watanabe [tawasi@gold.ocn.ne.jp]

France :

dates will be given soon

Contact: Nicole Beauvois [nicole.beauvois @wanadoo.fr]

See hereunder the description of the Formation.


In-depth study of the amma form of traditional Japanese massage
A new look at timeless massage techniques that have transcended cultural borders to become truly international

Wikipedia (in Japanese) defines amma as:
A system of hands-on techniques, including stroking, pressing, stretching, and tapping that awakens the body's natural tendency toward homeostasis and improves health.
The first syllable in the Japanese word "amma" means "to push," and the second syllable means "to stroke."
* Adapted from: Wikipedia Japan

Introduction from the instructor, Master Fugaku Ito.

Hello, everyone.
When I was a young man studying the Japanese martial art of karate, I began to learn shiatsu (Japanese pressure massage) from my teacher, Master Shigeru Egami. During my years in Rakutenkai, where Shintaido was born from Master Egami's karate, Shintaido founder Hiroyuki Aoki encouraged further study of Japanese massage techniques, including seitai (realigning the body to improve ki energy), kappo (involving the stimulation of specific acupuncture points), and foot massage (similar to reflexology).
In 1975 I came to the United States to found American Shintaido. For the first 8 years, while working to establish the basis of Shintaido there, I supported myself by working as a carpenter, by cooking, and by doing shiatsu massage.
You may have heard of the famous cowboy movie called "The Fastest Gun" -- well, in the early 1980s, the Japanese community in and around San Francisco nicknamed me "The Fastest Thumb." Shiatsu is done almost entirely with the thumbs, and they said I was the "best thumb in the West."
I was interested in the techniques of amma massage, which had been almost entirely lost in Japan. Right about that time, I heard that a school teaching amma massage had opened in Japan Town in San Francisco, and I had an opportunity to meet the director, David Palmer.
The massage school strictly followed the amma kata from David's predecessor, Takashi Nakamura. The Nakamura family had handed down the traditions of classical amma massage from generation to generation in Japan, and this school continued those traditions in San Francisco.
I began to trade lessons with David, and soon recognized the great value of the form that he was teaching. I still remember how impressed I was with his approach to massage.
1) Positioning the client precisely on the massage table
2) Adapting the form to prevent strain in the massage therapist's body
3) Making it possible for the massage therapist to maintain focus and concentration ("kokyu") from start to finish
4) Accurately locating the acupuncture points
5) Carefully regulating the flow of energy through the body, and incorporating that into care for each part of the body
6) Using the form to establishing a gentle, pleasant rhythm so that the person receiving the massage had a sensation of being rocked to sleep in a hammock
7) Effectively enabling profound relaxation and rehabilitation
I thought this accomplishment was as magnificent as a symphony performance, and I was also extremely impressed at how the kata provided care for each part of the body, and for the body as a whole.
Amma, which had almost vanished in its country of origin, Japan, was being communicated precisely and accurately in another country. And this teaching was designed not simply to transmit classical amma, but to breathe new life into the practice by making sure that the techniques were truly effective in modern-day clients.
My thinking was in agreement with David's, so I became his student in the study of amma, and he became my student in Shintaido and included the Shintaido Kenko Taiso in his school's curriculum. David also applied his amma training to develop a 15-minute chair-based massage, the first time such a massage technique was promoted in the United States. Because chair massage could be conducted in so many different places, it provided work for numerous massage therapists, and David's contribution to the field is still highly respected in North America and Europe.
David's "Touch-Pro" workshops and classes characteristically began with kenko taiso.

That is the story of how I can boast of being an instructor who accurately transmits the kata of amma, even though that kata has been completely lost in modern Japan.
There is nothing more rewarding than teaching people a kata that provides a new rhythm of breathing and working, so that they are able to contribute to the happiness of the people around them.

Fugaku Ito, Profile

1942 Born in Kure City, Hiroshima, Japan.
1960 Began the study of karate with Shigeru Egami.
1965 Began working on the creation and popularization of Shintaido with founder Hiroyuki Aoki. During this time, began the study of shiatsu under the direction of Master Egami and the study of seitai, kappo, and foot massage under the direction of Master Aoki.
1975 Relocated to the United States. Began the teaching of Shintaido in America and around the world.
1982 Met David Palmer and began the study of traditional Japanese amma.
In addition to teaching Shintaido, currently offers workshops in body therapy-related techniques such as amma and sotai through the following organizations:
Touch Pro Institute in San Francisco, CA
Seaman Medical Translation in Bellingham, WA
The Wellness Resource Center in North Dartmouth, MA
L' Attitude in Quebec, Qc, Canada

Course description

Introduction to Amma
• Introduction to simple techniques that can be used at home or in the workplace, plus
• Amma Part 1 (massage table required), and discussion the differences between "treatment" and "prevention"
Amma Part 1 (back sequence)
• Detailed instruction in the overall amma kata, plus • Introduction to positioning the client on the massage table
• Sequence: Shoulders, arms, hands, neck, back, lower back, back of thighs, calf, ankles, bottom of feet
Amma Part 2 (front sequence)
• Clear instruction on the fundamental overall principles of the amma form, basic understanding of the meridians and meridian points
• Introduction to positioning the client on the massage table, and precise instructions on how to do this positioning
• Sequence: Front thighs, shin, top of feet, face, head, neck and throat, chest, abdomen

Special techniques
• How to combine diagnosis and treatment. Hygiene precautions. Giving advice to the client before and after the massage.
• Practical explanations and instruction based on the theory and applications learned from trading lessons with alternative medicine specialists around the world.


what is the amma ?
the instructors
historic by Gary Bernard
amma chair massage